Political instability in Fiji, Niger and Chad made these three countries OBI scores decline the most of 94 countries in the 2010 Open Budget Survey:
- Niger’s OBI slipped from 26 to 3 because the Executive’s Budget Proposal and Year-End Report, which were previously made available to the public, are no longer published.
- Fiji’s OBI decreased from 13 in 2008 to zero in 2010 largely because Fiji no longer publishes a Pre-Budget Statement, Year-End Report, or Audit Report.
- Chad’s OBI dropped from 7 to zero because the government stopped publishing year-end and audit reports.
These declines stroke with the Open Budget Survey’s more general finding that countries that have democratic governments obtain higher OBI scores than countries that do not have democratic governments. For this analysis, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2008 was utilized; this Index classifies countries into four categories based on their levels of democracy:
- “Full democracies” have free and fair elections, well-functioning government institutions, and their citizens are able to participate freely in the political sphere.
- “Flawed democracies” are characterized as having lower levels of political participation than in full democracies and their democratic cultures are typically weak.
- “Hybrid regimes” lack the necessary political participation and functioning government institutions to be classified as democracies.
- “Authoritarian regimes” do not conduct credible elections; they also have low levels of political participation and inefficient government institutions.
Political instability in these three countries have made them slip down the scale of democracy and ultimately also down the scale of budget transparency.